tv CNN Town Hall Paul Ryan CNN July 12, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
good evening. welcome to a cnn special town hall. tonight, your questions for paul ryan, the most powerful republican in washington, on where his party's heading and how he and other republicans are coming to terms with the presidential nominee who many critics say is tearing it apart. >> the country is crying out for solutions. >> few in washington size it up better. >> the country is crying out to be unified. >> yet few face such challenges. americans divided. republicans divided. >> this election's too important
to go into an election at half strength. >> paul ryan made the case against donald trump and when it came to endorsing him, he held off. >> i'm just not ready to do that at anoint. i'm not there right now. >> but now that he is there, it's sometimes hard to tell. >> i do think these kind of comments undercut these things. i'm not even going to attempt to defend them. >> the law makers he leads often unleadable. the house he runs, divided. the country he loves, torn. house speaker paul ryan facing your questions tonight. welcome to all of you who are joining us here in the
audience in new york and across the country and around the world. we are being simulcast on cnn international, cnn espaniol, cnn go and sirius satellite channel 116. with us in the audience, voters, republicans mainly, some democrats and a few who are not aligned with any party. what they have in common is they want to know more about the republican party's plan for solving the country's problems. they also have a few questions about the party's presumptive presidential nominee, donald trump. their questions for speaker ryan are their own. we have seen them in advance to make sure they don't overlap. i will be asking a few questions myself as well. let's get right to it and introduce the republican congressman from jaynesville, wisconsin and the current speaker of the u.s. house of representatives, paul ryan. speaker ryan, welcome. >> thanks for having me. good to be with you. >> we want to spend as much time tonight as we can with the audience questions but there are
a few items, headlines in the news, that i want to take some time to talk to you about very briefly. first of all, obviously you were not able to go to dallas today for the memorial service. we heard from president obama, president bush. what would you have said had you spoken? >> something similar, actually. i think i liked their words. i'm glad both presidents were there. i would have basically taken my mom's advice. you've got two ears and one mouth and use it in that proportion. the point i would say is we need to show mutual respect. we need to do more listening. but the first thing i would have done is to show our support for law enforcement. to show our support for men and women who when they leave their families every morning with a badge on their chest, they put their lives at risk to protect ours. and we have to acknowledge that. at the same time, i also think it's important that we acknowledge the fact that there are people in this country who believe that because of their color of their skin, they are not as safe as everybody else.
the fact that people think that and feel that is a problem in this country. so i think it's very important that we calm down in this country, we start listening to each other, we start talking about solutions. we are already forming a bipartisan group in congress to do just that. about training, about communities, and we look at those success stories that are out there in our communities and see if we can replicate that. i was talking to a friend of mine, a black pastor in somerset, new jersey. he and other black leaders in somerset have already worked with their local police and law enforcement to have an accountability group and to have relationships so that these problems don't occur in the first place. so that there are great success stories and solutions that are out there already. we need to bring them to congress, to washington, to other communities, to learn from this and to replicate it so that we can find solutions. let's start talking about solutions and i think we just need to calm down and start our healing process. >> let's talk about the state of our union as a nation. president obama in dallas today
said quote, we are not as divided as we seem. donald trump, the republican presumptive presidential nominee, says actually, we are divided and it's never been worse. what do you think? >> well, i don't know if i would say it's never been worse. i think all of us as leaders have an obligation to do what we can to unify people in this country. and we can't just talk unification. we have to act toward unification. i do think our politics have been pretty poisoned. i think our politics have been bad in washington and around the country and that we are impugning people's motives and we are saying that if you work with the other side of the aisle, that if you try and reach across the aisle to have a good idea, you are a trait oror. i think we have to start making politics about a contest of ideas. start talking about principles and solutions. i think just doing that can elevate the tone of our debate so we can start solving problems in this country. >> it looks as though donald trump is going to pick a running
mate sometime this week. obviously you want to have him pick somebody who is qualified, who could be president if the worst possible thing happened, who has good experience, who has good chemistry, but' given all those qualities as a given, what else do you think donald trump needs to be looking for when he picks a nominee in terms of especially whatever policy and political qualities he might need help with? >> all those things you mentioned plus i would like a conservative. i would like someone to assure conservatives that conservative principles will be adhered to and maintained throughout not just the campaign but throughout his presidency. so i think making sure that you have someone that is familiar with and has a proven record of being a conservative reformer who understands conservative founding principles and has experience in applying those principles. that to me makes the most difference and that's what i'm actually looking for. i'm excited about the pick. i have been involved in this before. it's an exciting process for the person about to get picked. i'm excited for whoever that person is going to be but as far
as i'm concerned, all those things you said, experienced, can do the job, good chemistry, but somebody who is going to advance conservative principles and who is a proven track record of doing that. >> that does suggest that you have some concerns about how conservative donald trump's root ideology is. is that fair? >> i would say he's new to this and he's been on different sides of different issues and he has good positions now and most things, we have common ground. i want to make sure there's going to be consistency. i want to make sure we have consistent conservatism. all the more because i want to see our party unify. if we are going to win this fall it's because we have unified ourselves. it's important we unify ourselves around our principles and the policies that come from those principles. >> in the last few days, under your leadership, the house of representatives has asked the director of national intelligence to not give classified briefings to hillary clinton as all presidential nominees get. he said no to that. the house of --
>> i got his letter today. >> house republicans are trying to make that happen legislatively. house republicans are suggesting there should be an investigation as to whether or not she lied ndong. house republicans are suggesting there should be a corruption investigation into the clinton foundation. i'm sure house republicans are all excited about those measures. but to the people in the audience and at home who think wow, that's a lot, this seems more like trying to undermine the democratic presidential candidate and less like a hunt for truth. what do you say? how do yconvince them this is o the up and up? >> the reason we know about any of this i would argue is about congressional oversight. second of all we want to make sure everyone is treated equally. i believe that she has gotten preferential treatment throughout much of her career and she believes she is above the law. she holds herself above the law. i think everybody should be held accountable. here's my point. james comey when he laid out the laundry list of things she had done wrong, basically shredding
the case she had been making for herself all year long, then said after not saying he was going to press charges or file an indictment, that usually what's in order here, where somebody mishandles classified evidence so much, information so much, that there's administrative justice, administrative action that occurs after a person like that. that means that person who is proven to mishandle such sensitive information should be denied future access to that information. she gets elected president, it's a different story. i'm familiar with what she's about to get. i got this as mitt romney's running mate. when you come out of the convention you get the most deeply classified secrets of our government. you get read into all of our very classified programs. it's a very severe responsibility, very serious responsibility, and i would say that any other person that did something like this, state department employee, somebody in the military, they would be held to the same standard which is they would be denied that kind of information. so i think it goes with saying we should treat people fairly.
no one should be above the rules or above the law. that is what we are looking for is equality so we are holding people to the same set of standards and people, that's the problem with washington. everybody thinks there's self-dealing and think people are being held to different standards. the problem is that's true. that's the basic point we are trying to make. >> one last question from the headlines. supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg told cnn contributor that donald trump is a faker, has no consistency and she questioned how he has gotten away with releasing -- with not releasing his tax returns. she previously told the "new york times" she cannot imagine what the nation would look like under a president trump. i know the separation of powers is an important principle to you. how do you as a leader of the legislative branch address a leader of the judicial branch saying this about a potential -- >> i find it very peculiar. i think it's out of place in an appointed branch of government. that shows bias to me.
those of us in the elected branch of government, who get elected to things, i think it's perfectly in the realm but for someone on the supreme court who is going to be calling balls and strikes in the future based upon whatever the next president and congress does, that strikes me as inherently biased and out of the realm. i don't think -- i think that's something she should not have done. that doesn't show she intends on being impartial in the future. >> along those lines, do you think if there is a case and certainly supreme court cases about candidates and supreme court cases about presidential administrations are common, would you think -- >> go to bush versus gore in 2000. that was kind of a nail biter. remember that one? that's why i don't think judges should weigh in on things like that. >> you think she should recuse herself? >> let's see what happens in the future. i don't think she should have done this in the first place. i don't think it was good form. i don't think it's something a supreme court judge should do given the fact they are probably going to be facing some kind of decision in the future and this clearly calls into question her bias.
>> all right. speaker ryan, stay right there. we will take a very quick break. when we come back, we will go to the audience and get their questions. this is a cnn town hall with house speaker paul ryan. wthis is my dream car.! yeah, i like this. i've been waiting to get in this. real people have a lot to say about the award-winning vehicles at the chevy summer sell down. wow! the design is great. i love it. number one in my book. that's awesome! if you could get 20% cash back on this vehicle, what would you do?
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we are back. you're watching a cnn town hall with house speaker paul ryan. let's get to the audience for their questions. i will start, mr. speaker, with zachary, a student. even though he's a republican he says he's not supporting donald trump. what's your question? >> thank you. speaker ryan, i cannot and will not support donald trump and it concerns me when republican leadership is supporting somebody who is openly racist and has said islamophobic statements, wants to shut down our borders. how -- can you tell me how can you morally justify your support for this kind of candidate, somebody who could be very destructive? >> first of all, i would say a few things. that basically means you are going to help elect hillary clinton. i don't think hillary clinton's going to support any of the things that you stand for if you
are a republican. so on some of the issues you just mentioned, i felt obligated to speak out when i saw something that was wrong, when i heard something that was wrong. that didn't reflect my views or the views of fellow conservatives and republicans. i think it's important no matter what the circumstances to speak up for what you believe in. having said all of that, i also think that it's important that we put good people on the supreme court, that we were just talking about ruth bader ginsburg. the next person on supreme court will shape this court for probably a generation, almost 25 years. that means are we going to be faithful to the constitution or not for a generation. that's point one. point two, look at the agenda that we are pursuing. look at the agenda we are pursuing in conjunction with our nominee, our presumptive nominee, and i know that that agenda which i hope they have a chance to talk about has a much better chance of going into law because i know it won't go in there with hillary clinton. we have to get people out of welfare and out of poverty. we have got to fix our national security. yes, we do have to secure our border. we have to replace obamacare.
we have to grow the economy. we have to get cronyism out of the system. i can go on and on. none of those things hillary clinton is going to advance. she represents a third obama term. i don't think that's good for america. i think that's the wrong direction. so yes, things have been said that i too disagree with. i will make that point then but i'm going to go fight for the principles and the solutions that i believe in and the candidate that i think is so much more likely to put those into law because i know hillary clinton won't do that. it's a binary choice. it is either donald trump or hillary clinton. you don't get a third option. it's one or the other. i know where i want to go. >> there are people in the audience who think there are third options in terms of gary johnson and others. we will get to that later. i want to bring in peggy. you just heard from zachary, who is upset that republican leaders are supporting donald trump. and peggy feels as though republican leaders are not supportive enough of donald trump. she is a real estate paralegal from staten island and is supporting mr. trump.
peggy? >> hi. how are you? i'm disheartened with you and some of the republican leadership because you haven't fully gotten behind donald trump and his candidacy. i wanted to know when you are going to start advocating for him. after all, you did endorse him. >> ten seconds ago. that's number one. number two, look, when i hear something that i think doesn't reflect our values and principles, i'm going to say it no matter what the circumstances are. because i think it's important if you believe in core principles, you defend those principles no matter what. and yes, i did endorse donald trump and the reason i endorsed him is i spent a month walking through our agenda with him, talking about what we in congress are trying to achieve and why we believe this country's headed in the wrong direction, what our principles are and how we want to apply those principles. i wanted to make sure he understood where we were trying to go and that we had a willing partner to take us there. and we do. that is why i endorsed donald
trump. now, the other point i would make is to the last young man's point, he won the election. we are a bottom up party. we are not a top down party. he got 14 million votes. no one else got close to that. so he won the primary fair and square and that is why we want to respect the will of these voters who are the republican primary voters who voted for him. that's why. >> mr. speaker, there are a lot of house republicans who are not going to go to the convention and have not endorsed donald trump. do you think that if you were not speaker of the house paul ryan, but just congressman paul ryan, do you think you would have endorsed him? >> i'm a party leader. i do believe that i have certain institutional responsibilities as speaker of the house that i think are very important and it is to help keep our party unified. it is to respect the will of the primary voter who elected him among the other 16 people running, and so i think it's important. if i had not done that, i believe i would have contributed to basically cutting our party
in half and thereby, by default, granting the presidency, giving the presidency to hillary clinton. i couldn't do that. if i was ways and means chairman paul ryan i would have had less of an impact but probably the same effect. i think it's important that we keep our party unified, make sure we tell people who we are, what we believe in, what our principles are, but unify and go forward by offering solutions. that to me, we have the best chance by having a republican president to put those solutions in place. >> i want to go to mark hughes right now. some of you might recognize mark from this picture we are showing right behind you, mr. speaker. he was at the rally in dallas last thursday night, exercising his right as a texas resident to carry his rifle in public. police identified him as a suspect falsely, incorrectly. they tweeted his photograph. he turned himself in, he was released. he of course had nothing to do with the attack. he is a democrat and he has a question for you about gun rights. sir? >> thank you very much. here recently, a u.s. vet pulled
off one of the most horrific attacks on police on american soil in u.s. history, possibly suffered from ptsd, some type of mental illness. what are you going to do to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of individuals with some type of mental disorder and what is your plan for vets to come back that has the potential disease of mental illness? >> very good question. we just moved legislation last week on this. so this is where i do believe just as my opening, there is common ground to be had here. we have not reformed our mental health laws in a generation. and mental illness is what we have found in the mass shootings, one of the sources of the problems. we had a congressman who was a clinical psychologist who spent the last four years, tim murphy, working on revitalizing, revamping our mental illness laws, mental health laws. we just finished passing that bill. i think it was like 405-7 or something like that. this was a bipartisan project that revamps our mental illness
laws and we also have v.a. issues with this. we passed our opioid bill just the other day to revamp the veterans administration as well. there are two things i would say. we have got to get early intervention into people with mental illnesses so that we can see these problems before they materialize and have the ability to do something about it. that's point one. but with respect to vets, we have got to clean up the v.a. i spent a half hour with the veterans secretary yesterday talking about how are we going to clean up the v.a. so that the v.a. can specialize on its unique problems, ptsd, traumatic brain injury, prosthetics. there are special things that are unique to veterans that we have to get the v.a. to focus on so the problem is we have this huge waiting list, we had the v.a. bureaucracy sweeping the waiting lift undst under the ru. we have to get the v.a. to focus what it's supposed to do that is unique to the v.a. ptsd is a big part of that.
so that we can give veterans access to other health care things that are more routine, not veteran specific. get the v.a. focused on what they should be doing. ptsd, prosthetics, tbi. that is what we haven't been doing. we have been spreading it too thin. it's not lack of money. we always give the v.a. more money than they ask for for veterans health care. it's bureaucracy. it is mismanagement. that to me is something that's got to get fixed. we have been working on this quite a bit lately. >> turning to the issue of guns, though, and keeping guns out of the hands of people who have serious problems and should not be able to get guns, do you think congress has done enough on that front? em n i'm not talking about keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, but people who have serious mental health problems, emotional problems, possible ties to terrorist organizations, people that nobody would think should get a gun? >> right. so no on the mental illness part. that's why we are passing legislation dealing with mental illness issue and it's a very important point.
with respect to terrorists, what i think a lot of the solutions that the democrats have been putting forward, they would not have stopped these shootings. would not have prevented these things. you have to remember, right now, if you are a criminal, if you are a terrorist, you don't get a gun. the question is, people slipping through the cracks. the fbi right now is alerted when someone on a watch list attempts to buy a gun. the question is, can we give the fbi the tools they need to be able to do something about that if a person tries to buy a gun that's on a watch list but remember one thing. any bureaucrat can put you on this watch list. you can be placed upon this watch list and can't get off this watch list. therefore you have no due process rights. therefore it's really important when we swear our oath to the constitution as congressmen that we defend the constitution. that includes the second amendment but also the fifth amendment, our right to due process. what we don't want to do is pass a law that we know violates a law abiding citizen's rights,
take away their rights without their due process. that is unfortunately what i think many people are asking congress to do. the senate already defeated it. that's not what we want to do. so the question is, can we give law enforcement the tools they need to' prooefbt terrorists from getting guns without violating a citizen's rights. yes, we can. >> i want to go to a gentleman who is having difficulty with coming to terms with supporting donald trump. >> as a catholic priest, i don't ask somebody for their documentation when they come to ask me for help. one of the things that surprised me is the difficulty in giving people help that are here illegally. what can we do to better meet the basic human needs of the poor in this country even if they are here illegally as human beings despite what mr. trump has said on the issue? >> first of all, thank you. i'm a practicing catholic myself. the name duffy is very familiar to me. we have a big irish community
where i live. i'm sure you deal with this in your own parish duties. >> big time. >> i would say a few things. i have written very extensively about immigration reform. number one, you have to secure the border. you have to secure the border for many reasons. enforcing the rule of law, guarding against heroin coming to the border, isis from trying to infiltrate our country, and you have to secure the border also so that the public believes the rule of law is being applied in this country so they have faith that our government's actually doing its basic responsibility in keeping the country secure. then i believe you need to fix this broken immigration system. so once you get this border secured, you have got to fix a broken legal immigration system which isn't working. it's 20th century. we need to bring it to the 21st century. i think there are ways of helping people get right with the law that don't involve violating the rule of law or committing something like an amnesty. there are ways of getting people right with the law so that they can earn their place without rewarding people or rewarding people for cutting in line.
that to me, it's a longer conversation, i'm happy to get into. i think there's a way of doing this. but you cannot even get to that if we have no faith that we actually control who comes and goes in this country, whether we are securing our border or not. that is the problem. no one has faith that our government is doing its job because in the border, they're not. that's why i think securing the border is really important. let me get to the poverty point you mentioned. please take a look at our agenda. this is one of the most important reforms that i think we are offering. which is a better way to solve poverty, a better way to fight poverty. go to better.gop, where we have released our agenda. i spent the last four years going around this country visiting with poor communities, learning about the poor and the suffering and better ideas for fighting poverty. we put in a very aggressive plan to go at the root causes of poverty to try and break the cycle of poverty. i would argue our current approach at the government of fighting poverty treats symptoms of poverty which perpetuates
poverty. our welfare system replaces work. it doesn't incentivize work. as a result, we are trapping people in poverty. it's not working. so we think there's a better way of reigniting what i call upward mobility, the american idea, and getting people out of poverty. please take a look at these ideas. we have lots of them. i would love to get into it if you give me time. but this is one of the things that we are talking about. engaging with our fellow citizens, especially those who have slipped through the cracks, especially those that have no hope, that we have better ideas for helping them get back on their feet and converting our welfare system not into a poverty trap but a place to get people from welfare to work. >> give me one idea. one poverty idea. >> benefit cliffs. right now you stack all these welfare programs on top of each other and it basically pays people not to work. so you know who the highest tax rate payer? not anderson cooper or jake tapper. it is the single mom with two kids earning $24,000 who will lose 80 cents on the dollar by taking a job or getting a raise
because of all the benefits she loses. what happens, we disincentivize work. we need to encourage work. so you have so much time to get these benefits, you have to have work requirements or job training requirements. customize benefits to help a person with their problem. whether it's addiction, whether it's education or transportation. catholic charities, by the way, is the model i'm talking about. this is basically the catholic charities model. customize support to a person and always make work pay. make sure that you take the principles that we have used for welfare reform in the '90s which are no longer really working or in place these days, to get people from welfare to work and that's the core of what we are proposing. >> i just want to get back to his immigration question for one question. that is, obviously you support border security and mr. trump wants to build a wall. one other thing he wants to do is he wants to create a
deportation force to take away 11, 12 million undocumented workers and get them out of this country. if he's president, he will call -- >> i don't agree with that. i have been pretty clear. >> what do you do? >> so i don't think rounding up 11 million people, a, is the right thing to do, b, would work and i don't think you would like to see what we have to do to the country to do that. i think you have to secure the border. i think you have to have reforms that get people to come out of the shadows and get right with the law and make sure that while you're securing the border, you're fixing what's broken in the legal immigration system. i think we need to have an immigration system that is wired for what our economy needs. many people describe our current legal system as chain migration. you can come based on your relations outside of the nuclear family. i think we should give visas based on what the economy needs so we make sure people aren't taking jobs that americans can take, americans can fill. we got to get everybody out of welfare into work. then after we do that, make sure that every able-bodied person in
america has a good job, we will still need people in this country because baby boomers are retiring. let's find out where the gaps in our labor markets are and have our immigration system wired for that. after we have secured the border, after we have replaced the rule of law, and then those people who need to get right with the law, give them a way to earn their way through fines, through penalties, learn english, civics, reapply a policy of assimilation so they can get a work permit to work, but don't give a person the ability to jump in front of the line of the person who has been patiently waiting and doing things right. that to me is more of an approach that works, it makes sense and it won't require a roundup or mass deportation which i just don't think is a good idea. >> we have an alternative republican delegate here. gina will be at the convention in cleveland next week and she's having trouble supporting the nominee. >> yes.
speaker ryan, among the many possibilities that actually happen in the republican task force in 2013, an alienation of minorities was found to be a glaring liability to the republican party. why as a black woman, republican, would i continue to support the republican party? >> i'm glad you asked that. >> did you bring copies? >> go to better.gop to get this. >> i'll pick it up afterwards. >> in total seriousness, please take a look at the principles that we are talking about. please take a look at the ideas that flow from those principles. what are our principles. they start with the ones that built the country in the first place. it's -- we are the only country that was ever founded on an idea. it's a beautiful thing. our rights are natural. they come from nature and nature's god to quote the
declaration of independence. our rights are ours as people before our government. government's job is to protect those rights. what are those principles? liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, upward mobility, opportunity. that is the biggest pole in our big tent party. if you agree with those principles, we want you in our party. oh, by the way, take a look at when we take these principles and apply them to the problems of the day, look at what we are offering. look at our plan for welfare reform and upward mobility to go at root causes of poverty. let's define success in the war on poverty by results. are we actually getting people out of poverty. not by effort are we spending enough money, do we have enough programs, enough people on these programs. take a look at our tax reform. get the cronyism out of the irs, get the irs out of our lives, lower our tax rates. let you keep more of your own money and do what you want because it's your money. take a look at the constitutional reforms. the big fear i have these days is you and i and all the rest of us are losing control of our own
government. it's not accountable to us as people anymore. the main reason why that is happening is our laws aren't being written by our elected representatives. they are being -- this isn't just republicans or democrats. this is what's happening for a long time. it's not just obama. it was prior presidents as well, republicans included. unelected bureaucrats are writing our laws. the rules and regulations that i in congress and no one else in congress ever votes for. so as a result of that, we are losing control of government. it's becoming arrogant, condescending, distant and unaccountable. the point i keep making is it doesn't mean left or right. you should want to be able to get change when you go to the ballot box. you should want to live under laws that you write through your elected representatives and unfortunately, that is really less and less the case these days. so if you believe in having a government that's accountable to you, if you believe in a government that responds to you through your elected representatives, we call it article one of the constitution. if you believe in welfare to
work, if you believe in upward mobility, if you believe in strong national security, if you believe in patient-centered health care, if you believe in equality of opportunity, not having a big government equality of outcome, then please stay with us. because we believe in the american idea. the condition of your birth does not and should not determine the outcome of your life. that's what's so beautiful about this country. we are losing that. we are losing that idea. we are losing that vision. lots of people don't think it's there for them. we have to reignite that. that's what we're trying to do here. >> mr. speaker, thanks. we will take another short pause. when we come back, more great questions from the audience. ♪ ♪
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you have only been speaker for eight and a half months. but you have not been able to pass some of your biggest priorities, including tax reform, replacement for obamacare, a budget bill, you are mr. budget, former chairman of the budget committee. are you having some of the same problems speaker boehner did with that part of the republican party? >> i think we're doing much better. by the way, those two first things you said, our goal was not to pass a replacement of obamacare when the guy in the oval office is named obama or tax reform, because nyou know what, we know it's not going to go anywhere. that's why. we put -- this is our 2017 agenda. we basically said here's what we did this year and this is what i did with our members. let's go find the common ground where it exists and get those things done. we passed the biggest highway transportation bill in over a decade since the mid 1990s. we rewrote our export laws to do more trade enforcement. we have the most comprehensive rewrite of k through 12 education reform, to bring power
back to the states, getting rid of common core, in 25 years. we passed our opioid bill the other day, our mental health reform the other day. we fixed the problem with puerto rico that was really difficult that we wanted to get ahead of. we passed the things where we could find common ground with the democrats. then on the things that we knew we wouldn't go through, because we have a liberal progressive president that we don't agree with on the big issues, that's what our agenda is all about. our tax reform plan, our obamacare replacement plan which is a comprehensive patient-centered health care plan, is what we are putting out there, asking the country permission to put in place in 2017. what we are asking the country for is here are our ideas, these are our solutions, please give us the ability to put this in place in 2017. these are the kinds of elections i wanted to have in if first place. mitt romney and i talked about this a hundred times. we wished we could have better done a job of giving the country a clear and coherent agenda. so that's what this represents. this better way is basically
take our principles, apply them to the problems of the day, offer the country solutions, earn a mandate. that's what we were trying to do because i got to tell you, seven out of ten americans don't like the direction the country is going. we are among them. we feel like we have an opportunity and an obligation to offer a better way, offer an agenda. that's what this is. those things you mentioned, with respect to the budget, we passed a two-year budget deal a year ago so we are in the second year of that two-year budget deal. that is why we weren't able to pass a new budget because we are living under the current budget and now we are writing appropriation bills to that budget. >> [ inaudible ]. >> we are still working on it. >> let's move on to the voters. heather works in compliance and she is a republican from new york city. >> speaker ryan, shifting gears a little bit, i guess, thank you for your support of peaceful protesters in your heartfelt statement the other day. you said let justice be done. i wonder when you hear people
shout black lives matter, do you know why we say that? >> well, what i'm trying to say and what the statement i tried to make was, let's not harden ourselves into our corners so we stop listening to each other. let's make sure that we can actually hear what people are saying and understand what their problems are. and i also think we need to be respectful of each other's different views. at this moment, when five cops were killed, let's make sure we surround law enforcement with the support that they deserve. let's make sure and by the way, that means you can't blame the shooting on black lives matter and you can't also blame the bad things that a couple cops do on all the cops. so let's make sure that we are not painting people with a broad brush here. let's focus on paying respect to the people who are in charge of protecting our communities and then let's use two ears, one mouth and listen to the concerns that are out there. that's the point i was trying to make before. that's what i made at my speech the other day.
there are a lot of people in this country who, because of the color of their skin, do not feel safe. that is a problem that a lot of people feel that way. so let's go figure out what to do about it. what are our solutions. that's why we are actually putting together just this week a bipartisan group to look at policing strategies, to look at police training, to learn about what success stories are out there in america so that we can cross pollinate and share those stories. >> did he answer your question? >> i appreciate your sentiment. >> you are saying black lives matter because people feel they are being discriminated against and are not safe because of the color of their skin. that's profound. because people believe that we have to listen to that and we have to hear about it, we have to understand it and instead of just talking, let's try solving it. that's why i was talking to my friend buster suarez in somerset, new jersey, emanuel cleaver, leader in the
republican black caucus, i spoke with cedric richmond and g.k. butterfield, leaders in the black caucus, about how do we come together to talk about what's going on, what are good practices, where is the common ground and the bipartisanship that we can achieve out of this to try to get something done and make a difference. >> we appreciate you listening. so when you hear black lives matter, it's a reminder. just keep listening to the message. thank you. >> point taken. >> donald trump, a name i have not said in several minutes, give me credit for. >> at least four. >> at least four minutes this evening, said that black lives matter is dividing america. you disagree. >> i just don't think we should be talking about dividing at all. i think we should be talking about unifieg. you have got to understand when some people hear this, they see it as a divisive thing. the comeback is all lives matter and that enrages everybody. why don't we stop enraging everybody.
why don't we stop saying things we know erupt into fights and conflict. why don't we just kind of calm down. let's just be peaceful and start listening to each other and have calm conversations about what are truly people's concerns and then let's see where solutions are. look, chief brown in dallas, go look at his record. it's a very impressive record of good community policing. it's a pretty darned good record of getting along well with the community to make sure the community takes care of itself. there are great lessons to be had out there and solutions to be gotten. let's go learn about those things and the way i always think in political terms, i'm an old jack kemp guy. jack kemp was my mentor. i believe we need to be inclusive and aspirational. that means talk to virtues within people, prey not on darker emotions but prey on what unites us. that means reject enemy politics in every way, shape or form. i would argue that the left basically perfected identity politics. it's very effective but it's
very divisive and we on the right should not come anywhere close to it. i believe in inclusive aspirational politics that speaks to our common humanity, that speaks to the principles that unify us and that to me is the kind of leadership that people in this country are begging for that we are endeavoring to try and offer. >> it's less than a week before the republican convention. i don't need to remind you. and it still remains an open question whether the delegates who attend the convention will have to vote based on the primary results in their states, or whether they will be able to vote according to their conscience. the rules committee meets tomorrow. there is an effort to what is being called unbind the delegates. let them vote however they want. one of the leaders of that movement, steve lonergan is here. he's run for office before as a republican in new jersey. he ran the cruz campaign there. >> you are a new jersey delegate? >> no, i'm not. thank you, jake, for a great program. mr. speaker, as chairman of next
week's republican convention, will you support an open convention in which the delegates who will convene in representation of the entire republican party, will be free to vote their conscience and nominate the candidate best suited they believe to defeat hillary clinton and advance a -- >> it is my job to take the rules that they write for the convention and make sure that those rules are applied equally, honestly and transparenty. i make sure that i do not comment because i won't, put my thumb on the scale as to what these delegates do. this is what people kind of misunderstand the republican party. the democrats have this thing called super delegates where their elites and leaders basically run their party in a top down way. we don't do that. we are a bottom up, grassroots party where delegates, where people duly elected in their primary and caucuses and districts from the grassroots, they write the rules.
they are meeting this week and they will decide what those rules are. i have no opinion on what those rules are because it's their decision. when they write those rules, as chairman, i will make sure we enforce those rules, whatever those rules are. >> steve, did he answer your question? >> i'm not going to weigh in and tell the delegates what to do. >> the answer is he's not going to answer your question. >> no, i'm not going to tell the delegate what to do. it's their decision because they run the party. the delegates represent the 75% that did not vote for donald trump. >> i can speak for wisconsin. when people ran for delegates in wisconsin, they ran knowing the wisconsin/delegate rules. until the person that you're bound to dips below a 33%, you are bound to that person. so when you run for delegate in whatever state you come from, you run on the terms of the
conditions that you're state biends or does not find those delegates. that's a contract. you ran knowing those things. that's the point i would make for people who ran for del gatt, they ran knowing the rules of the road when they did so. >> mr. speaker, when you became speaker of the house -- >> we're still working on it. i came into a congress that was fairly bitterly divided. and as you know, it wasn't my plan to become speaker of the house. i was working on poverty and economic growth and economic chair of ways and means committee. hi about six days' notice to
take this job. it became clear that if i took this job, because i was the only one that had the votes to get it. and i believe that that would have ripped our party in half. i think it would have ripped us in half. what we then did immediately when i became speaker is say we have got to go from being an opposition party to a proposition party. >> every member of congress, every republican in an organic, bott bottom-up way, we can offer the american people a better way. we got consensus on what the new
tax system should look like. how rebuild our national security. that to me was unified. thafs getting us on the same page, stopping the retribution before, getting people to work together and work toward a common goal of giving the country a clear and legitimate choice in this fall. we've achieved that. now we're going out and communicating this choice and talking about our ideas because we want to give the people a real choice and real path. here's a different path. here's a better way. and the kind of election that we want to win is won by acclaimation. our ideas and reforms are affirmed so we have an obligation to put them in place. that is wiping the slate clean, that is unifying and in congress, in the house, we are unified and we're putting this together. so i think we've come a long, long ways in addition to achieving some of the other reforms i just discussed earlier. >> so one of the possibilities is that you will be house
speaker and hillary clinton will be president. you were asked yesterday if you could work with her. are you saying you're not going to be able to work with her? >> well, i'll certainly try. the point i'd say is this is not the democratic party of the mid 1990s. this is not the democratic party of balancing the budget and welfare reform like we got in 1997. this is the liberal progressive party of bernie sanders, elizabeth warren and yes, hillary clinton. i think hillary clinton is a very liberal progressive. they have moved far, far to the left. that was good, that was done. i don't think these parties are like this. this is the party of obama care, this is the party of dodd-frank.
it's on common ground with the liberal progressives like we've had with the liberal democrats in the 1990s. i wish this weren't the case. >> she sounds like bernie sanders on trade. she basically says the same thing he does. donald, at least he wants to lead in the world. on foreign policy, you want to get me started on hillary clinton on foreign policy? >> fair enough. mr. speaker, we have to take one last break. we've got a few more questions for you. we're going to take a quick break and be right back. ♪ and these are the lungs.
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republican. he is supporting donald trump but he says it's only because he would never vote for hillary clinton. jason? >> good evening, mr. speaker. i'm a republican because i believe in strong, fiscal conservatism. many i talk to agree with republican policies over economics but refuse to vote for our candidates because of issues on racism and change the perceptions that paint us as intolerant. >> i hate the fact that you feel the need to even ask that question because the principles that we so dearly believe in and behold are those foundational principles for equality all before the law. we're all equal, whether you believe in god or not. that is the foundation stone of who we are and what we believe in in our party. what we strive for in our ideas and our principles are to provfo